Review Summary: Arrayan Path expand their sound to something greatIV: Stigmata
, the fourth full length album by Cyprus-based neoclassical power metal act Arrayan Path, is another solid notch in the band’s belt. With their previous albums they managed to prove to the power metal scene that they were a rising force to be reckoned with, although, their inability of absorbing and balancing their influences was a downside for the band’s career. Until the release of the excellent Ira Imperium
, Arrayan Path were nothing but a solid power metal band, but the release of IV: Stigmata
shows a band, which expanded its musicianship to a whole new level. If nothing else, IV: Stigmata
is an enjoyable outing that presents Arrayan Path as a more confident and dynamic band than its previous releases.
In IV: Stigmata
, Arrayan Path take their sound into a more straightforward and heavier songwriting approach, while the lyrics deal with the Christian mythology. This is in contrast to Terra Incognita
and Ira Imperium
, where the Cypriotes incorporated an emotionally invested and bombastic retelling of various ancient myths and cultures. First and foremost, the lead guitar lines are amazing, with blazing fast arpeggios and melodic classically infused scales. There is much stronger emphasis on galloping rhythms and speedy segues, like the chorus and main riff on Midnight and the First-Born Massacre
–which is probably the album’s finest moment. The group never really breaks into the realms of speed metal, but the songs are intensive enough, so as to escalate your heart beating rate. On the other hand, there are some slower and more plodding songs to be found here, such as the beautiful Harbringers Of Death
and the infectious Pharaoh’s Wish
. The self titled track focuses a bit more on subtle symphonic elements and slow paced, melodic guitar lines, in an attempt to amplify the dark content of the lyrics.
The powerful weapon of Arrayan Path is the vocalist and band founder, Nicholas Leptos
, who seems to be a lot more confident in his singing duties with respect to past releases. He attains an extremely melodic mid-pitch vocal range and as a vocalist, i could consider him as a crossover between Roy Khan and Fabio Leone. Listen to The Bible Bleeds
or Midnight And The First-Born Massacre
and you will see what i mean. Some weaker moments though, such as The Storyteller
couldn’t be avoided. It would be very nice, if the album closed with one epic song, but this isn’t enough to downgrade the album’s quality.
To sum it up, the dark concept of the lyrics and more brooding atmosphere help set this apart from other contemporary power metal acts. If you dig bands like Rhapsody, Kamelot and Iron Mask you will appreciate what the band has to offer here. IV: Stigmata
is the best Arrayan Path release to date and it is another landmark in what is growing to be a monumental discography.
-Midnight And The First Born-Massacre
-The Bible Bleeds